South Mississippi produce supply stocked despite pandemic, labor shortage

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, our nation faces major supply chain issues. But in South Mississippi, most shelves are stocked.
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 5:31 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - With Thanksgiving just around the corner, our nation faces major supply chain issues and labor shortages.

On a local scale in Gulfport, however, the produce supply at Rouses Market does not seem to be an issue. Despite the pandemic lingering on into its second holiday season, the shelves are stocked.

“It’s just hit or miss: an item here, an item there, but nothing major,” said produce manager Butch Barton. “Actually, I think I seen a little more getting back to a good, traditional Thanksgiving dinner.”

Barton has managed produce for more than 40 years and said this time of the year is always his favorite. With 90% of his orders filled, the season is running smoothly so far.

“The product is rolling in now and the rest of this week so we can be ready for next week and hopefully not run into any issues as far as having product all the way through Thanksgiving day,” he said.

Shopper Judy Seicshnaydre spent the morning browsing the store and getting prepared for a holiday celebration.

“Well, just look around,” she said. “It seems like we are very well-supplied.”

Michael Loyd was shopping to supply the Point Sur, a research and survey ship owned by the University of Southern Mississippi. He’ll spend the holidays on the vessel with scientists, and he aims to boost morale with a Thanksgiving meal.

“It feels pretty good. You know, everybody got the spirit,” he said. “You can see they got plenty of turkey and all of that. I can see right now they not short at all.”

Trina Martin from Orange Grove was also shopping for a holiday feast.

“They got some pretty pecans in here,” she said. “I’m happy, all the family together, get to see people we ain’t seen in a long time.”

Barton said they are seeing a few inconsistencies with deliveries of pre-made salads, strawberries and green onions. While they do have pecans fully stocked, you probably won’t find any in full shells this season.

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